Brine for Meats

Colman Andrews

Author - Editor

Use this brine to make your own corned beef. Prague Powder #1 is a mixture of salt and sodium nitrite commonly used in curing meats; it is not essential in this recipe but will give the meats an attractive rosy color.


  • 5 cups kosher salt
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup Prague Powder #1


Combine the salt, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns in a large stockpot and add 1 gallon of cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar thoroughly. Remove the pot from the heat and let the liquid cool to room temperature. Add 1 gallon of cold water, then stir in the Prague Powder #1 (if using).

To brine meat, submerge the meat in the brine, weighing it down with a heavy nonreactive plate if necessary to keep it submerged. Set aside in a cool place (do not refrigerate) for 2 to 4 days.

Discard the brine after use.


2 gallons